An unlikely friendship helps create beauty and luxury in a coastal paradise. When British multinational AIDCORP lands a project to build a tourist complex—Shalimar—in a coastal village in south India, Mr Tully, one of the directors, arrives at the village to oversee the construction. There he meets Rikki, an orphaned fisher boy, and a deep and abiding friendship arises between the two, notwithstanding the gulf between their lives. The fisher community is torn when half the fishermen begin to work with the company, leaving the other half to suffer from a shrinking catch. Rikki must find a way to pay off his parents' debt, but he cannot abandon his life near the sea. Thanks to his fluent English, learned from an old English couple who used to live in the village, he begins to work for Tully. Though they come from vastly different worlds, Tully and Rikki learn to accept and value each other: a human relationship forged from the shared human need for goodwill, affection and understanding. It is with the help of this alliance of mutual respect that Shalimar is successfully built, and Tully manages to restore Avalon, a mansion his grandfather built in the area. Pleasure City explores the issues of the interaction between East and West, native tradition and imported technology, in the context of the scientific and technical development of an India that is, well after Independence, racing ahead to forge its postcolonial identity. It is an identity that, like Shalimar, grows from collaboration between East and West, and mutual exchange of ideas and knowledge.